Tearful Britney Spears begs court to oust father as conservator

Britney Spears has been under a conservatorship since she suffered a mental health breakdown in...
Britney Spears has been under a conservatorship since she suffered a mental health breakdown in 2008. Photo: Reuters
Singer Britney Spears on Wednesday (local time) won the right to choose her own lawyer to help her end a 13-year-long conservatorship and tearfully pleaded for the court to oust her father immediately from the role of controlling her business affairs.

Her father, Jamie Spears, has been a major figure in the conservatorship since he set it up in 2008 when his daughter had a mental health breakdown. He is currently the sole person in charge of her $60 million estate.

"You're allowing my dad to ruin my life," Spears told the Los Angeles judge by phone. "I have to get rid of my dad and charge him with conservatorship abuse," she added.

Speaking for about 10 minutes on Wednesday, Spears, 39, said she had always been "extremely scared of my dad." She said she was fed up with multiple psychological evaluations in the last 13 years and wanted the conservatorship brought to an end without another one.

“I’m not a perfect person .. but their goal is to make me feel like I’m crazy," Spears said. Details of Spears' mental health issues have never publicly been disclosed.

It was the second time Spears had addressed the court publicly. Last month she called the legal arrangement abusive and stupid in a 20-minute public address.

Los Angeles Superior Court judge Brenda Penny on Wednesday approved former federal prosecutor Mathew Rosengart to represent Spears going forward. The singer's court-appointed attorney stepped down last week.

Rosengart, who has previously represented Hollywood stars Sean Penn and Steven Spielberg, also called for Jamie Spears to step down.

"This not working. We know that," Rosengart said. His first job is likely to be filing a formal document asking for the conservatorship to be terminated.

In June, the pop star complained of being prevented from marrying or having more children, and said she was compelled to take medication against her will.

Outside the courthouse, dozens of fans held a rally, chanting "Free Britney" and calling for the conservatorship to end. A smaller rally took place near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

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